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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure how many people know about this, One of nascars real racers...

I feel like someone just kicked me real hard, feel very sick to my stomach...

My prayers go out the the family and friends of bobby, he will be gretly missed by the fans..

Bobby Hamilton had 10 victories in his Truck Series career. Credit: Autostock

Hamilton, 49, dies after battle with neck cancer
By Ryan Smithson, NASCAR.COM
January 8, 2007
12:01 AM EST (05:01 GMT)




Bobby Hamilton, the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series champion and a four-time winner in the Cup Series, died Sunday. He was 49.

Hamilton, a native of Nashville, Tenn., had been battling cancer for nearly a year. He announced in March 2006 that he was undergoing treatment for neck cancer. He immediately turned over his driving duties in the Craftsman Truck Series to his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr.

"He will be greatly missed as a husband, a father, a grandfather, an owner and a friend," Hamilton's family said in a statement. "We want to thank everyone for their love and support of our racing operation and the outpouring of care and concern during his cancer battle. One of Bobby's greatest loves in life was racing and we will continue on in his honor."


Bobby Hamilton made three Truck Series starts in 2006 before announcing he had cancer. Credit: Autostock

MESSAGE BOARD
• Send your condolences to Bobby Hamilton's family.

BY THE NUMBERS
Bobby Hamilton found Victory Lane in all three of NASCAR's top series, but when he went to the Lady in Black in a truck, he found his way to the front.

• Hamilton: By the Numbers

PHOTO GALLERY
From driving the 43 car for Petty Enterprises to winning a Truck Series championship with his own team, Bobby Hamilton's career was multi-faceted.

• Hamilton: In Photos
2004 FLASHBACK
The 2004 season was Bobby Hamilton's crowning moment in the Truck Series, but even in his championship year nothing was handed to the owner/driver.

• Complete story, click here


Reflecting on a titleBobby Hamilton looks back on his 2004 truck championship
Lifting the trophyBobby Hamilton clinches the 2004 Truck Series championship
'05: Up frontBobby Hamilton takes the points lead halfway through the year
'05: Victory at MansfieldBobby Hamilton celebrates his UAW-GM Ohio 250 victory
'05: To the lineBobby Hamilton edges Jimmy Spencer to win the Dodge Dealers 250
'04: Happy papaBobby Hamilton wins the Toyota 200 and celebrates with his son
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Liz Allison, a family friend who co-hosted a radio show with Hamilton, said he was at home with his family in Mount Juliet, Tenn., when he died.

In addition to Bobby Jr., Hamilton is survived by wife Lori and a granddaughter.

Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for communications, saw first-hand the unlikely procession of Hamilton's career from Nashville short track champion to multiple winner in NASCAR's top series.

"He meant an awful lot. He was old school and one of those guys that did it his way," Hunter said. "He was very popular in the garage area and in the industry because he worked real hard. He didn't believe anyone was owed anything."

Hunter said the news hit the sanctioning body especially hard.

"It came as a real shock. We knew [the cancer] was serious, and we knew he was fighting it, but you just never know these things," Hunter said. "He will be missed. He was a tough, tough guy."

Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan recalled a day last fall when Hamilton took him aside and asked him to drive for his team.

"It floored me," said Gaughan, who eventually decided to turn down the offer. "He asked me to drive for his team, and it was quite an honor. That day will always sit in my head.

"He was a great driver and a great owner. My heart goes out to the BHR organization."

Hamilton was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in February after a malignant growth was found when swelling from dental surgery did not go down.

He raced in the season's first three events, with a best finish of 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, before turning over the wheel to his son.

"I love what I do; I love this business," Hamilton said when he disclosed that he had cancer. "NASCAR has been good to me, and I just don't feel comfortable when I am not around it."

Hamilton quit driving in the Cup Series after the 2002 season to focus on his thriving Craftsman Truck Series team. He went on to win the Truck Series title in '04.

"It is a terrible loss to us," said Larry McClure, Hamilton's team owner from 1998-2000. "I will miss him. I always thought of him as my friend."

McClure said he had talked to Hamilton just a few weeks ago.

"I asked him how he was dong and he said, 'Pretty good,' " McClure said. "Just amazing how it can turn like that."

Jeff Purvis, a fellow Tennessean and a close friend of Hamilton's, was shocked at the news of Hamilton's death. A longtime Busch Series regular whose career was curtailed by a 2002 crash, Purvis visited with Ken Schrader on Friday and they had discussed Hamilton's progress.

"We went to lunch and talked about Bobby," Purvis said. "[Schrader] had just left Bobby's shop and came from there to my house.

"[Hamilton] was kind of what racing was supposed to be about. He was a racer's racer. You could talk to him about chassis. He understood racing and the racecars, the event. He really understood racing itself."

Nextel Cup driver Sterling Marlin, a fellow Tennessee native, said a lot of people didn't know Hamilton well even though he was generous enough to give someone the shirt off his back.

"He always had a good vision," Marlin said in Daytona where testing begins Monday. "He always wanted to do things his own way, so he became his own boss, got into the trucks, and it worked out well for him."

Though he made his Cup debut in 1989 -- a one-race deal at Phoenix on Nov. 5 -- Hamilton probably is best known for the unusual way he broke into NASCAR's top series. He served as a stunt driver for the 1990 movie Days of Thunder, performing so well that he was soon hired to run the Cup Series full-time. He went on become rookie of the year in 1991.

His big break, however, came in 1995 when Hamilton was hired to drive the No. 43 of Petty Enterprises. He resurrected the ailing team with 10 top-10 finishes in 1995, and in '96, he won at Phoenix, which helped him finish a career-best ninth in points.

After winning at Rockingham in 1997, Hamilton moved to Morgan-McClure Motorsports for the 1998-2000 seasons. His only win during that time came in '98 at Martinsville.

"He was a good driver and a good businessman," McClure said. "We spent three years with him and it was great. He got us our last win. It was probably the last time the team was competitive, and he kept getting better and better."

Hamilton wrapped up his Cup career with a two-year stint driving for Andy Petree. Hamilton won at Talladega in 2001 -- a thrilling race that went green the entire way -- for Petree's first victory as a car owner, and Petree celebrated by diving across the hood as Hamilton drove into Victory Lane.

"He definitely raced hard," Gaughan said of Hamilton. "I remember that race when he won at Talladega when everyone was falling out of the seat [from the oppressive heat]. That was a testament to how tough he was."

Allison, the widow of former NASCAR star Davey Allison, said, "The thing I loved about Bobby Sr. so much is that he treated everybody the same. It didn't matter if you were one of the drivers he competed against or a fan he'd never laid eyes on before.

"He didn't have a pretentious bone in his body. I think that's why people were drawn to him. He was just very real and had a way of relating to everyone."
 

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Yeah, I heard about it last night. Very sad. He was a great driver.

Raceman1
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess benny parson is not doing to well either..Cancer also...
 

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Originally posted by xcr440
[br]I guess benny parson is not doing to well either..Cancer also...
Yeah, lung cancer. He quit smoking in 1978 too. Just goes to show you what can happen.

Raceman1

P.S. Man, I got to quit smoking.
 

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yea what a way to go. after all the races and crashes to be taken down by cancer....
 

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Hmm. Too bad. I kind of considered myself a Bobby Hamilton fan back in the late '90s when he was doing fairly well in the Winston Cup. He was the same age as Dale Earnhardt, when he died. Sad.
 
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